High school redistricting on agenda for Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – At the start of this school year, a number of classes at Centennial High School had more than 30 students, and some had closer to 40. The school's staff had to make adjustments to reduce class size, and the district increased Centennial's building budget.

Now, the Champaign school board will begin taking a look at high school redistricting, to balance the enrollments at Centennial and Central high schools.

Area teachers get refresher on drivers' education

CHAMPAIGN – Josh Landon had never seen the "seat-belt convincer" demonstrated before. And when the drivers'-education teacher at Crescent-Iroquois High School strapped himself in and rolled down an incline to an abrupt stop, he was surprised at the impact.

"It's pretty intense for 5 miles per hour," Landon said. "It's definitely a bigger shock than what I was expecting."

Catlin school district looking for new superintendent

CATLIN – School board members said on Thursday that they plan to interview candidates for the superintendent position in mid-November, and hope to have made their choice by the end of December.

Guy Banicki will retire as superintendent of Catlin schools on June 30, 2009, after seven years with the district. His replacement would start July 1.

Tentative RTHS contract agreement reached

RANTOUL – Certified teachers and the Rantoul Township High School board have reached a tentative agreement for a new labor contract.

Following more than six hours of negotiations behind closed doors with a federal mediator, union and school board representatives announced at 1 a.m. this morning that the two sides have agreed in principle to a new three-year contract.

Forum attendees: Disparities exist in Unit 4 special-ed services

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district is compiling a report to gauge issues in special-education services to black students through a series of town hall meetings.

The first of three, held Thursday night at the Mellon Building, drew five people.

Two to be added to Schlarman Hall of Fame

DANVILLE – Schlarman High School will add two names to its Hall of Fame during halftime of its homecoming football game with Milford this evening.

Susan (Graham) Farren, Class of 1975, and Danville resident Raj Karinattu join 65 other people inducted since the hall of fame began in 1974.

Rantoul Township High School contract talks set for tonight

RANTOUL – Representatives from the Rantoul Township High School teachers' union and the high school board are planning on meeting behind closed doors this evening in one more attempt to resolve outstanding negotiation issues.

The Rantoul Township High School Education Association and the school board will meet for the first time with a federal mediator at 6:30 p.m. at the high school. The major sticking point is salaries, according to union spokesman Gene Vanderport, The two sides have been bargaining since the spring. When the union and school board were unable to reach an agreement on a contract, a federal mediator was assigned to the negotiations.

Residents warned of bogus check scheme

Residents in Douglas County are being warned of deals that seem too good to be true.

Revenue, expenses both up in 2008 for Danville schools

DANVILLE – The Danville school district saw an increase in both revenue and expenditures in its fiscal 2008 year.

School board members voted to accept a 2008 audit report Wednesday night. The 2008 fiscal year ended June 30.

Unit 4 teachers ratify contract with 4.5% raises for most educators

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign teachers voted Tuesday afternoon to ratify a new three-year contract that includes raises of 4.5 percent per year for each of the next three years for most teachers, and increases beyond that for teachers with more than 21 years of experience.

"I'm happy with what they've put up for us," said Franklin Middle School teacher Cindy Stein. "They've got some good proposals that I think, outside the salary, are nice additions."